PM Modi’s adopted village battles open defecation, despite construction of toilets

VARANASI: Open defecation is a big problem in India, but even PM Narendra Modi’s adopted village is not free of the menace.

Open defecation is still prevalent in the model village of Jayapur even though almost all households have toilet facilities, says a report in a news daily. The village was adopted by PM Modi in November 2014 under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
To combat this problem, a fine of Rs 500 is now to be levied on anyone defecating in the open.

“Since the name of the PM is associated with our village, it is really a matter of shame if people defecate in the open despite having toilets attached to their houses,” said the newly elected gram pradhan Narayan Patel. The practice of open defecation is a nuisance, particularly when the toilet facilities are there, he added.
“First, we will warn such people and if they continue to go to the fields, a fine of Rs 500 will levied,” Patel told the daily, adding, “We are counselling people against defecating in the open. Some of them, realizing their mistake, have stopped the practice, but many are yet to do so.”
500 household toilets and eight community toilets have been constructed in the village, which has a population of about 4,000. But most of the facilities remain unused, as people prefer to go to nearby fields or the roadside to relieve themselves.
However, residents of a colony for Dalits – ‘Modiji ka Atal Nagar’ – have a different story to tell. They say that the toilets are useless due to lack of water supply. “There is no water in the overhead tank, hence we have to go in the open,” said Mukhai Vanvasi, who lives in one of the 14 one-room houses in the colony.